Sunday, December 06, 2009

1 Year.

It has been one year since Max was officially diagnosed with Autism. A year of progress. A year of pain. A year of hope. A year of grieving.

Max has experienced tremendous growth over the past 12 months. When he started therapy he could not transition from the waiting room to the therapy room without having a complete meltdown. The reports from each session would include "50 minutes of behaviour" (meaning he was unable to complete tasks because he was screaming or throwing a tantrum). It's rare to see those types of notes in his reports these days. More often than not I get reports that he had a good, if not great session. In January he had no words. Now he greets people unprompted, tells us what he wants, and has mastered "no" with gusto. His therapists take such joy in reporting his progress, celebrating his wins with us.

The progress comes slowly. Most days it feels like two steps forward, one step back. We take tremendous pride in the wins and try not to feel devastated when Max's behaviour slides. It's a grind every day and it takes its toll on me, and on Scott. We try to have a sense of humour. It's dark and rude and sarcastic, and you probably wouldn't understand it if you overheard us. But it helps and it keeps us sane. We are burdened and blessed, tested and enlightened. I would never ask to be on this journey or wish it on anyone, but I will say I have met the most amazing people because of Autism, and my life is richer for it.

Here's to next year little boy. I look forward to our wins.


  1. There are going to be so many more wins to come! With his awesome family behind him there can only be good things ahead. We love you Max!!!

  2. Anonymous1:09 p.m.

    Nah, its never a burden.. kids never are.. It is what it is.. you have been dealt a difficult deck of cards, like many of us.. use your strength, love, and motherly instinct to get you through the hard times. Autism is very, very hard.. but your son is there, he is in there, as you are starting to see.. find the compassion in your heart to get through the tough days, and I can assure you his diagnosis won't be so difficult to stomach..

  3. Anonymous4:27 p.m.

    Sensory Mom: I am a mother of a child who has special needs, and "Yes,Virginia" kids can be a burden. To suggest otherwise is to embrace some kind of magical thinking that isn't at all helpful when dealing with the reality of parentinand g today. That doesn't mean the kids aren't loved, it doesn't mean anyone is a bad parent or lacking in compassion.

  4. And he is oh so lucky he has some really great loving parents!!
    He is just adorable-I love that picture.

    "mastered no with gusto" made me laugh - it's great that you can embrace the small steps.